Tuesday, March 25, 2008

McKnight on "Stories with Intent"

Scot McKnight on Klyne Snodgrass's massive new book, Stories with Intent: A Comprehensive Guide to the Parables of Jesus:
... a book comes along and you make a decision about its importance. This book, you decide, ends the need for a dozen or so other books on your shelves. You go to your shelf, pick up those books, put them in your "To Sell" (or "To Give Away") stack, and put that one book on your shelf that replace the others. Yes, I've got such a book for you:

Klyne Snodgrass, Stories with Intent, is such a book. If you purchase this book, you won't need another book on parables for at least a decade. It's available on Amazon right now for almost 40% off. Sure it's a big book, about 800 pages, but there are 32 parables ... and he's got solid chps on interpreting parables, on parables in the ancient world, and a few charts at the back.

I know Klyne; he's been at this book for 20 years. He wrote this book for you: for those who want to study parables. It's not a theory, it's a handbook. If you want to know:

The parable type
The issues for interpretation
The helpful primary source material (Bible, Jewish sources, Greco-Roman, early Christian, later Jewish -- much of it cited right there)
The parallels to this parable (if in the Gospels)
Textual features worth noting
Cultural information worth knowing about
Explanation of parable with options and decisions on the issues
Adapting the parable

It's all here. Helpful, concise, accessible.

Did I say I like it?

I have a shelf of books on parables; I will keep them for one reason. I may have to write something that requires citing a variety of books on the parables. But, I'm not kidding you, this may be the only book on parables a pastor or a student ever needs.